Casa Rio is the result of the renovation, lead by Paulo Merlini Architects, of the original structure of an old farmhouse located in the village of Gondomar, in a rural area in northern Portugal. During the demolition of the additions built over time, the architects discovered that the farmhouse was originally composed of three small independent houses built according to the needs of the time.
This discovery was taken as the starting point for the renovation of the rural structure and a contemporary reinterpretation of the spaces in the house. The geometry of the three original independent volumes is maintained but unified through a slab perforated by a central patio that fills with light the entire social area, located on the ground floor. On the upper floor, this platform is converted into a green roof which offers a new intimate garden to all rooms and private areas of the house.
In terms of materiality, the aim of the design team was to create a strong contrast between the two floors. On the ground floor a rougher materiality, denouncing the tectonic of the construction, transmitting the sensation of living inside a granite excavated mass, with a very strong relation with the exterior space. And in the upper floor, the geometry of the three original houses is denounced throw their materialization as pure white volumes, flooded with light. On this floor, the high right feet, the wooden shutters, the white and the wooden floors recreate the feeling of a typical Portuguese country house.